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Current and Past Research

The Office of Research completed a research request to emulate a study done at another community college related to the predictability of degree completion given certain parameters. The original study came from Cerritos College's Office of Research that correlated students who take communications classes in their first year to a higher degree-to-completion rate compared to students who do not. To replicate this study, the Office of Research created two groups from a 6-year time-period: degree seeking students who did not take COMS classes in their first year (the control group), and students who took either COMS 1100, 1200, or 1300 in their first year (the experimental group). They defined the start of the cohort and year during fall terms, and the time-period reached from 2014 to 2020. The evaluation periods were determined after 8 terms to match the study at Cerritos College. Each experimental group/cohort was defined for each year and COMS class (1100,1200,1300) starting with 2014 and going to 2020 and giving us 18 groups to look at that we evaluated individually and grouped within their respective COMS class (6 cohorts for COMS-1100, 6 cohorts for COMS-1200, and 6 cohorts for COMS-1300).

Control Group: Degree seeking students taking any class except for COMS (1100,1200,1300) in their first year. No special-admits (K-12 students) were included. We created 6 individual control group cohorts, one for each evaluation year (2014-2020).

Starting Cohort Fall 2014 - Fall 2020 Total Ends Total Starts Percentage
Control Group (total) 340 2826 12%
Control Group (within 8 terms) 168 2826 6%
COMS 1100 (total) 62 165 38%
COMS 1100 (within 8 terms) 48 165 29%
COMS 1200 (total) 57 202 28%
COMS 1200 (within 8 terms) 43 202 21%
COMS 1300 (total) 75 199 38%
COMS 1300 (within 8 terms) 75 199 31%
COMS All (total) 194 566 34%
COMS All (within 8 terms) 153 566 27%

The results we tabulated seem to suggest that taking a COMS (1100, 1200, 1300) class in the first-year results in more start-to-finish graduations, across the board. When looking specifically at overall (control group and COMS-All) 8 term rates, first year students who take COMS are over 4 times more likely to graduate compared to those who do not take COMS in their first year. The COMS class with the highest rate of graduation across 8 terms is COMS 1300, at 31 percent.

The above chart is a visual representation of the cumulative percentage of each evaluation group (either the control group or the experimental group) and on the x-axis is the number of terms it took for the individual group to complete a degree. The thicker lines in the above graph are the COMS control group, or degree seeking students that did not take COMS in their first year at College of the Siskiyous but completed a degree (and how many terms it took them to complete). The thinner lines are the individual experimental groups who took COMS (1100, 1200, or 1300) in their first year and the number of terms it took them to complete their degree. The experimental COMS groups (the thinner lines) have a larger slope and are above the thicker lines, which demonstrates higher cumulative percentages of degree completion at the evaluation mark of 8 terms and beyond compared to the control group.

Contact Research and Evaluation

John Tarantino
Phone: (530) 938-5285

Makenna Rivers
Phone: (530) 938-5285